Unfortunately, we've had a very eventful month here--Brian's father, Gabby's Grandpa Romo passed away on March 1.
I haven't written at all about Carl and his health because, frankly, I felt
like it wasn't my business. I only knew him for a short period of time
(we met around Christmas 2007), and I always felt it was his family's place to
advertise what was happening, not mine. Now however, I feel like I should
put the whole story down. Carl was diagnosed with Alzheimer's about 2
years ago, but even before that, we all knew things weren't quite right with
his memory. Even me, a relative outsider, realized that his lapses in
memory were more than just those acquired in old age. He would ask me
every time I saw him what I did and where I lived--clearly not remembering that
we had met before. Before he was on medication, there were times when I
know he didn't know who Brian or Jennifer (Brian's sister) were--sometimes he
thought Brian was a nice man who came to visit, other times he thought Brian
was his brother (to be fair, Brian does resemble his uncle quite a bit).
He could never remember that Gabby was a girl, persisting on calling her
"he" even when she was dressed in all pink, although I think that
stemmed from thinking Brian was his brother, since Brian's uncle had 2
boys. Once he was diagnosed and got on a medication schedule that worked,
things got much better. He would still get "stuck in time" (a
phrase used when people think they are living in a past time) and talk about
work he was doing and how his bosses would be really upset when they learned he
was retired, but for the most part he could follow a conversation and seemed
able to recognize his wife and children as well as other important people in
We figured he would persist like this, slowly losing his memory and
eventually having to be put in a nursing home for another 10 years or so.
Then in mid-February he caught the flu and stopped eating. No big deal--I
don't eat much when I'm sick either. However, when he got over the flu,
he didn't start eating again. Their regular doctor was out of town, so
Anne took him to the back-up doctor who ran a battery of tests, and basically
told her that there was nothing wrong with him and that he would eat when he
wanted to eat. Fast forward a week later and he still wasn't eating (they
figured he was getting maybe 200-300 calories/day). He then collapsed, and the regular doctor told Anne to get him to the ER.
There they found that he had pneumonia, and since he was so malnourished
treating it probably would not work. Anne, Jennifer and Brian decided to
admit him to hospice where he stayed for 2 days before passing away.
This has understandably been a really rough time for Brian and his
family. They decided not to do a funeral right away (Carl's brother was
visiting family with his wife and Anne's brother was recovering from back surgery
and couldn't fly), but to do a memorial service instead, which will be this
upcoming weekend. We're all very saddened by the loss of a great husband,
father, grandfather, and friend.